Keisha

Keisha

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Keisha

Tigress

Born 6/25/2000 Rescued 5/28/2014

 

Help care for Keisha Tiger here:  http://big-cat-rescue.myshopify.com/collections/sponsor-a-cat

Rescue_Keisha

 

Keisha was the second generation of tigers born at that facility and some reports state than five generations were born there over the years.

Keisha is missing a portion of her ear and her entire tail. JnK volunteers reported that she lost both to two lions that shared a common wall with her. It is unknown if she received veterinary care for these injuries or was left that way and luckily survived. All over the compound the bears and big cats shared common walls where they could easily reach through and injure or kill each other.

Despite the first fourteen years of her life being a horrible experience that no animal should have had to endure Keisha’s spirit was never broken. She is full of life and very outgoing. She loves Zeus and once he is neutered we hope to introduce the two.

One of the top experience with Keisha since her arrival was her very first Thanksgiving turkey dinner. Keepers stood by in awe as Keisha pounced around her enclosure as happy as could be with the big bird in her mouth. She couldn’t decide if she wanted to play with it or eat it so she did both for hours. Being witness to such joy from an animal that has seen so much suffering makes the long hours and hard work all worth while.

Keisha the tiger was born in 2000 at a pseudo sanctuary in Sinclairville, NY called JnK’s Call of the Wild.  While the website proclaimed to be a sanctuary, in fact, all but one of the 11 tigers had been bred for use as pay to play props.  According to volunteers, Zeus was the son of the original female, Kimba, and then was bred back to his mother to create the other 9 tigers, including Keisha. This is commonly done on purpose to create white tigers, which are the result of severe inbreeding.

Keisha-Tiger-2014-06-08a

What we saw during the rescue was unimaginable suffering and conditions that clearly threatened everyone in the area. JnK had a pile of citations for not allowing inspectors onto the property, but in many cases those are considered by the bad guys to be far less incriminating than actually answering the gate and letting inspectors see what they are doing.

The NY state attorney’s office decided to send a message to all of the backyard breeders, dealers and pseudo sanctuaries that they would no longer turn a blind eye to the danger that these facilities pose to the public and launched the biggest seizure of wild animals in New York’s history.  With the help of IFAW and several sanctuaries 11 tigers, 3 lions, 3 bears, and 2 wolves were rescued that day in May of 2014.

Keisha only has half an ear and a little bobbed tail. We think she lost them to the lions who lived in the cage next door to her in NY.  All over the compound the bears and big cats shared common walls where they could easily reach through and injure or kill each other.

Big Cat Rescue had gone to NY expecting to bring home four of the tigers, but one had passed away before we got there and no one seemed to know when or how.  The other tiger, who was Keisha and Zeus’ mom, was a 20 year old tigress named Kimba.  She was in such bad condition that we were not able to save her, but at least she died here in comfort, surrounded by love.

Maybe the worst thing about the entire situation in NY was that it is typical of how big cats are treated in America.  You can put an end to that by never paying to see or touch a cub.

To read more about Keisha’s rescue and see photos and videos go to:  http://bigcatrescue.org/jnk/

Keisha and Zeus Vacation Together

The romance didn’t last long.  Keisha is just too playful and pounce-y and just scared Zeus half to death so much of the time that we had to separate them.  They live close to each other, but have their own space to live in peace.

TJ

TJ

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hear big catsTJ

Male Siberian/Bengal Tiger Hybrid

DOB 1999

 

Tiger TJ splashing in pondTJ was the youngest of four tigers who were rescued in 2007 from a breeding facility in Center Hill Florida called Savage Kingdom.  He is quite playful and loves to crash through all of the high grasses in his enclosure. TJ has a particular fascination with water and will splash in and out of his pools or the pond, when he is on vacation in the Vacation Rotation enclosure.  He seems to delight in the way the light moves on the surface of splashing water.

Savage Kingdom was run by an ex circus performer named Robert Baudy who had been famous for his big cat act in the 1950’s.  He boasted that the way you trained a big cat was to chain them to the wall and beat them without mercy until they learned that no matter how much they tried to retaliate, they could never succeed.  Once they were broken they were safe to use in performances.

Times have changed, and so has public opinion about how to treat animals, but tiger taming hasn’t changed.  Cats are routinely beaten, deprived of food and deprived of space in order to make them perform on cue.  Tiger trainers have figured out that no one will pay to see an abused animal, so they make a big show of giving the cats kisses, pats on the head and treats, and tell the public that they only train using love, respect and positive reinforcement.  It is a lie.

rp_TigerTJsinging.jpgWe do positive reinforcement and clicker training to get our cats to do things like lay down, show us their paws, etc. to make it easier for us to deal with their medical needs.  At Big Cat Rescue the cats have the choice of doing the interaction with us and our vets, and if they don’t want to do it, they can walk away.

 

If the “show must go on” then you can bet the cats were abused behind the scenes to make them reliable performers on stage.  Please never pay to see big cats perform.

You can help feed TJ Tiger here:  http://big-cat-rescue.myshopify.com/collections/sponsor-a-cat

 

 

 

 

Savage Kingdom Rescue: TJ, Bella, Modnic and Trucha

 

 

hear big catsA hundred times or more a year Big Cat Rescue is contacted by someone trying to unload a tiger, lion, bobcat, serval or some other exotic cat who has outlived his usefulness. In most cases the people calling are those who have used the animals to support themselves, or to make themselves more popular, and now the cat no longer serves their needs. Then the cat has to go.

Big Cat Rescue can only take in a limited number of big cats each year because each cat is a 10-20 year commitment. Most of the cases do not meet Big Cat Rescue’s criteria for accepting a cat as they will not assist these irresponsible owners in continuing to breed and use animals by being a dumping ground for last year’s babies.

This case at Savage Kingdom was different. Robert Baudy was world renown for producing what are commonly referred to as “throw away tigers” because they are so often lame and cross eyed from the inbreeding that goes into producing the white tigers that will fetch a big price.

When USDA finally shut down the 84 year olds’ breeding activities in August of 2006 an era of abuse came much closer to an end. A friend of Baudy’s had managed to place all but four tigers by May 14, 2007. If she could not find a home for these last four tigers she was going to have them euthanized on May 18th because she could no longer afford the time and resources needed to care for the cats.

TJ, Bella, Modnic, and Trucha were the last four cats that needed a home and Big Cat Rescue stepped in to provide one. On May 18th, 2007, Rescuers transported the four to their new home at BCR. They now have spacious grassy enclosures with shrubs and trees, large mountain dens, and pools to cool off in.

Fatal Attractions – Tigers Unleashed, about TJ and Bella tigers: http://animal.discovery.com/tv-shows/fatal-attractions/videos/tigers-rescued-deleted-scene.htm

 See More About TJ, th Tiger:

Enjoy TJ tiger getting a Piñata in this Wildcat Walkabout Video on April 25, 2014 – http://bigcatrescue.org/now-big-cat-rescue-april-25-2014/

 

Zeus Tiger

Zeus Tiger

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Zeus

 

Male Tiger Born 9/1/96 Arrived 5/28/14

According to JnK volunteers, Zeus was the son of the original female, Kimba. He was bred back to his mother to create the other nine tigers, including Keisha. This is commonly done on purpose to create white tigers, which are the result of severe inbreeding.

Zeus suffered from an eye injury that would later be diagnosed as a luxated lens. He had been this way for over a year and never received any treatment. Because Zeus was so malnourished upon his arrival we could not perform surgery until he had gained some weight and his overall health stabilized.

Zeus-Tiger

Make sure Zeus Tiger never goes hungry again here:  http://big-cat-rescue.myshopify.com/collections/sponsor-a-cat

 

After months of specially prepared diets Zeus was finally in a healthy enough state to sedate. An eye specialist examined his eye and discovered that what we thought was his good eye actually had very bad cataracts that limited his vision in that eye tremendously.

The eye with the luxated lens had more vision, but also had an ulcer on the surface. The decision was made to repair the ulcer and see if that was the cause of his pain. If his eye continues to be a source of discomfort it will be removed which will essentially blind him.

While Zeus’ underwent this eye surgery he was also neutered with the hopes that he and Keisha can live with one another. They both seem very interested in the other and pine for each other at the sides of their enclosures.

Zeus and Keisha Tiger Vacation Together

The romance didn’t last long.  Keisha is just too playful and pounce-y and just scared Zeus half to death so much of the time that we had to separate them.  They live close to each other, but have their own space to live in peace.

Zeus the tiger  was born at a pseudo sanctuary in Sinclairville, NY called JnK’s Call of the Wild in 1996.

Zeus-Tiger-nap-2014-06-12

He was saved by Big Cat Rescue in May 2014  when the NY state attorney’s office decided to send a message to all of the backyard breeders, dealers and pseudo sanctuaries that they would no longer turn a blind eye to the danger that these facilities pose to the public and launched the biggest seizure of wild animals in New York’s history.

Most states ban the private possession of lions and tigers, but exempt anyone with a USDA license.  That license is far too easy to get and nearly impossible to have revoked, but conditions were so bad at Zeus’ former home that the license had been cancelled and it took the combined efforts of IFAW and a number of sanctuaries to place all of the big cats, bears and wolves.

The day he was rescued, after months of starving, Zeus RAN down the length of his cage, chasing Big Cat Rescue’s Operations Manager, who was racing (outside the cage) toward the beast wagon with a piece of meat. He would do anything for just a morsel of food, so loading him took no time at all.  Zeus was less than half the weight he should have been and his coat was ragged from the poor diet and filthy conditions.

As soon as Zeus arrived at Big Cat Rescue he knew he had found paradise.  While the other tigers were being unloaded at the sanctuary, Zeus checked out his pool, all of the space, toys and great napping spots.  He has been ever so grateful to his keepers and a joy to be around.  It is because of people like you that Zeus will never go hungry again.

Read about the rescue and watch the videos here:  http://bigcatrescue.org/jnk/

 

 

When Big Cat Rescue saved Zeus the tiger from starving to death at a backyard zoo a few months ago, we knew that he would need a lot of vet care to bring him back to health, but first we had to fatten him up enough that he would survive the surgeries.  Today we neutered him and began the process to try and save whatever vision he has left.  We are forever grateful to YOU, our viewers, and our wonderful vet team, including Dr. Tammy Miller, Dr. Liz Wynn, Dr. Justin Boorstein, Dr. Petterson & crew.

Zeus Goes on Vacation!

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Thank you everyone who make these kinds of days possible.

 

 

JoJo

JoJo

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JoJo

Male DOB 1/1/03
Rescued 9/1/13
Caravel (Caracal / Serval Hybrid)

JoJo-Caravel_4628570305914395538_n

 

 

Meet Jo Jo the Caracal Serval Hybrid

 

JoJo the Caracal / Serval Hybrid

hear big cats

I first met JoJo the Caracal / Serval hybrid at the South Florida Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in 2005 after a hurricane had taken down the perimeter fencing and dumped piles of deadfall on the cages.

JoJo hybrid 2012 Big Hiss

The owner, Dirk Neugebohm, had ended up in the hospital with a heart attack from trying to clean the mess up by himself.

 

He wrote from what he thought was his deathbed back then to anyone and everyone he could think of asking for help; and asking for help was not something that came easily to this hard working German.

Bird Caged Cats

What we found, when Howard and I visited, was a man who was way in over his head.  Donations were almost non existent, the cages were old, dilapidated, small and concrete floored.  The freezer had been damaged and he had lost his food supply, so we sent food and volunteers to help him clean up and rebuild.

The tiger back then was Sinbad, who lived in what is commonly used for housing parrots.  An oval corn crib cage with a metal roof.  Sinbad died recently after a snake bite, leaving Krishna, pictured, as the only remaining tiger.

Krishna Tiger

 

We had a donor and a sanctuary (Safe Haven in NV) that were willing to take Krishna, but we were told that the Florida Wildlife Commission had found someone less than 6 miles away to take him.

Dirk managed to keep his sanctuary afloat, if just barely, for the next 8 years, but a couple days ago one of his volunteers, Vickie Saez, who we had been helping for the past couple of years with infrastructure and social networking, contacted us to say that Dirk was dying of brain cancer in the hospital and that she had convinced him to let the animals go to other homes.   She said the Florida Wildlife Commission had arranged for most of the homes, but that Dirk was very happy that we could take JoJo.  Our sweet Caracal, Rose, had died July 31st and her cage was empty.

We were told that all of the other cats had new homes waiting, except for Nola the cougar, but she was very ill.  We offered to pay a vet to do blood work on her to make sure that she was not contagious.  We were concerned because she had a history of some very contagious diseases, which had left her severely debilitated.  What concerned us was that her caretaker said she looked bloated.

A vet had arrived to help with the transfer of two leopards to a place in Jupiter.  He sedated Nola to see what was wrong.

We are told that he palpitated three melon sized tumors in her abdomen and that with every touch of her belly she exuded foamy blood from her nose and anus.  He was sure that there was no hope for her and humanely euthanized her.

Nola cougar 2011

This photo was Nola back in 2011.  While we were sad that we would not be able to give Nola a new home here at Big Cat Rescue we are glad that she is not suffering any more.

 

JoJo at Big Cat Rescue

 

JoJo has arrived at Big Cat Rescue and settled in nicely.  It is quite possibly his first time to walk on the soft earth.

JoJo-at-Big-Cat-Rescue1

His cage has been a small (maybe 60 square feet) of concrete and chain link for at least 8 years and probably longer.  He is thought to be about 10 years old.  Sometimes breeders hybridize exotic cats because there are no laws on the books that regulate them, but in Florida, the inspectors say, “If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck; it’s a duck.”

JoJo-at-Big-Cat-Rescue2

JoJo now has 1,200 square feet of earth, bushes, trees and grass.

JoJo hybrid Grass Hide

He really likes the grass.  Are you hearing the Beetles lyric, “JoJo left his home in Homestead-Miami looking for some Florida grass?”

JoJo hybrid GrassClose Up

His diet has only been chicken necks for as far back as anyone can remember.  I think he is really going to like the menu at Big Cat Rescue.  You can help make rescues like this possible and help feed all of the cats at:  http://big-cat-rescue.myshopify.com/collections/sponsor-a-cat

 See More About JoJo:

JoJo the Caravel is up on his platform in this Wildcat Walkabout Video on May 1, 2014 – http://bigcatrescue.org/now-big-cat-rescue-may-2-2014/

Get the Meet JoJo iBook in iTunes

Meet another Caravel at the Wildcat Sanctuary

 

 

 

 

 

Cat Chat Show 78

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Meet Bryna Donnelly on Cat Chat Show 78.  Find out what Greater Good, Rescue Build and Animal Lifeline all have in common and how Bryna is helping animals all around the globe.

Cat Chat Show 77

Cat Chat Show 77

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Find out what Big Cat Rescuer, Kathryn Quaas, is doing at the Born Free sanctuary in Ethiopia at the Ensessakotteh Wildlife Rescue, Conservation and Education Centre.

Ensessakotteh Wildlife Rescue, Conservation and Education Centre